US administrator in Iraq reviews progress plans for Iraq reconstruction
Outlining US goals for Iraq in a June 22 address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) extraordinary meeting in Jordan, chief US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer said a new Iraqi army will begin enlisting soldiers in two weeks and reported that coalition combat forces and 30,000 Iraqi police officers, an increase of over 200 percent in the past 30 days, are now working to maintain order throughout the country.
The chief US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, says the first order of business in Iraq is to provide security and maintain law and order. He stressed that the coalition will not permit remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime that are still engaged in sabotage "to turn the clock back for the Iraqi people."
The bulk of Bremer's remarks focused on plans for transforming Iraq's economy following decades of economic mismanagement. Goals include reallocating resources from state enterprises to more efficient private firms by reducing subsidies and special deals for state enterprises. A "humane safety net" will be created to ease the transition to a market economy, he said.
Other priorities include regulatory simplification, development of anti-trust and competition laws, lifting unreasonable restrictions on property rights, and reforming Iraq's financial sector to provide liquidity and credit for the Iraqi economy, Bremer said.
He also suggested ways that Iraq's oil resources could be used to provide direct benefits the Iraqi people -- possibly through a fund that distributed oil profits to citizens as "dividends."
Such a proposal, and others along those lines, could be debated "when an interim Iraqi authority is convened in the months ahead," Bremer said.
The three-day economic forum meeting on the shores of the Dead Sea began on June 21 and attracted more than 1,000 global leaders in politics, business and civil society. The US government sent a large, high-level delegation that included Secretary of State Colin
Powell. — (menareport.com)
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